The City of San Antonio, along with project partners, will be collecting public input regarding the Bandera Corridor Plan for the next several weeks. The Bandera Corridor Plan, launched in fall 2019, aims to guide the redevelopment of the 6.5-mile stretch of Bandera Road between Loop 1604 and Interstate 410. 

Titled the State Highway 16 Bandera Road Corridor Plan, the project is the first corridor plan developed under the guidance of the SA Tomorrow comprehensive plan. Project partners include the City of Leon Valley, the Texas Department of Transportation, local architecture firm Work5hop, and Dallas-based consulting firm Halff Associates. 

The City’s Planning Department hosted several virtual community meetings via Zoom this week, the fourth and last of which will take place Saturday at noon. For Zoom information to tune in, click here. Public input comments are due to the City of San Antonio by Friday, April 23, at 5 p.m. To watch a recording of one of these community meetings, or to provide further feedback click here

City planning staff shared early results from the input that has been collected over the past year regarding the plan during virtual meetings Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday before inviting audience members to submit additional comments. 

Early feedback suggests residents of San Antonio want to see reduced traffic congestion in the corridor, improved road conditions, enhanced aesthetics, and a thriving business sector in the area.

They also show enthusiastic support for mixed-use development along the corridor, as well as a strong backing for “increased neighborhood connectivity,” said Joshua Jaeschke, project manager for the Bandera Corridor Plan, during the Tuesday meeting. 

“Many residents would like alternatives for reaching the corridor to do business as well as options to travel around the corridor when heading to other regional destinations in the city,” Jaeschke said. “One of the issues to be addressed is how neighborhoods connect to the corridor.”

Ideas for improving neighborhood connectivity include making sure all neighborhoods along the corridor connect to a greenspace of some kind, adding more bike lanes and sidewalks, and building more transit stops near new developments. 

The City and its partners are seeking additional input on how residents would like to see greenspace utilized and bike lanes constructed. 

While many residents have shown favor in new development, some also voiced concerns that the new developments could cause more traffic congestion. In 2020, Bandera ranked 114th on a list of the state’s most congested roadways.

“Bandera is the most congested [road in San Antonio],” said Councilwoman Ana Sandoval (D7), a partner in the corridor planning. “It carries about 60,000 vehicles a day – that is freeway-level traffic. Clearly, that’s why we have some congestion issues. And since taking office, addressing safety and congestion on Bandera Road has been one of my priorities.”

Reducing Bandera Road’s congestion and increasing its safety is a top priority in the corridor’s redevelopment, Jaeschke said. 

“We’ve aimed to focus on other innovative ways to alleviate traffic by including recommendations for improved transit and regional connectivity, and recommending urban designs that require less dependence on a personal vehicle,” Jaeschke said. 

Two ongoing studies of the corridor are aiding the City and its partners on how to best alleviate this congestion, he added. The first of these studies is under the City’s Bandera Corridor Plan. The second is TxDOT’s State Highway 16 feasibility study, Jaeschke said. While these coordinated parallel studies cover roughly the same 6.5-mile stretch along Bandera Road, they each have different goals, he said.

“The City’s Bandera road corridor plan will provide recommendations on future land use, urban design, and desired options for improved multimodal solutions on the corridor,” Jaeschke said. “These recommendations will further inform TxDOT’s feasibility study, which aims to evaluate roadway improvements to the road itself.”

While the City aims to complete the corridor plan this year, the feasibility study will continue into 2022, he said. 

Following the collection of additional input, the City and its partners will use the comments to create several recommendations to be sent to TxDOT, Jaeschke said. With the corridor planning set to wrap in fall 2021, those recommendations will likely go to TxDOT in early 2022, he said. 

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Lindsey Carnett

Lindsey Carnett covers the environment, science and utilities for the San Antonio Report.